Apartment Inspiration

Exciting things are around the corner, or should I say, the block! As of May, I’ll be moving into a new apartment and I could not be more thrilled. Since choosing my new apartment, I’ve been on a steady diet of online shopping at West Elm, combing through catalogs and scrolling Instagram for hours for inspiration.

Having a new place means a fresh start and as much as I’ve loved my apartment, gallery wall and current layout, I thought it might be fun to share some inspiration and trends that I’m planning to incorporate into my new place next month.

Color Shift:

I’m a firm believer of “throw what you know” or better yet, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” When it comes to paint colors, I definitely play by these rules. I’ve had a blue bedroom for most of my life, and in my current apartment a blue accent wall in my living room. Instead of going for the exact navy color next time, I’m thinking of shifting to a softer hue and painting only half way up the wall. For my bedroom, I’m considering transitioning from a charcoal color to a lighter grey or blue.

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Loving this “at home try on” approach from Backdrop. (image: instagram.com/backdrop/

I’ve been playing around on Backdrop, a new paint brand that let’s you get large swatches, like the Warby Parker of paint, before choosing your colors. A few trendy colors I’ve been seeing are hunter greens, dusty rose, and icy blues.

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Loving this approach to color at Publishing House BNB in Chicago 

Lots of Luxe Fabrics 

Just like your closet, sometimes your space calls for an upgrade. Like a new leather jacket, the power of a luxe fabric can do wonders. Right now my mission is find the perfect leather couch and I’ve already invested in a velvet headboard for my bedroom. Velvet has been popping up everywhere, pillows, couches, bedrooms and armchairs, and I’m into it!

Bold and Bright Accessories (in bulk) 

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and people buy furniture from a bigger name brand store and call it a day. Sure it looks good, and right out of a magazine (because it probably is) but it’s the styling that makes it your own! Minimalism may have been “in” the past few years, but maximalism has returned for 2019.

“Memphis style” is popular this year, which brings back the idea of bright and colorful accessories throughout the room, in unique shapes with an 80s flair. Even though I   won’t be adding a bunch of 80s decor to my space, I’ll be looking for a few vintage pieces, glassware and other trinkets to have throughout.

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A full look with plenty of layers of styling, and pops of color (image: decoraid.com)

These are just a few trends and thoughts I’ve seen and hope to implement towards my next place! What trends are you seeing and using in your spaces? I’m getting so excited for this change, and can’t wait to start showing what I’ve chosen to add to my new apartment very soon. Keep following along for more updates!

-TW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Settling In

Settling In

February has certainly been the coldest month of the year in Chicago as long as I’ve been here, which means the walls of my apartment start to close in while I live in a state of hibernation until spring rounds the corner.

Because I  find myself having more nights in during this short month, it’s important that my apartment looks its best. If you’ve read my gallery wall post, you know that I  put a lot of design focus on my living room wall. Living in a small one bedroom apartment means wall space is limited and highly prized in terms of decorating.

This month I decided to wipe the gallery wall clean and tweak it with some new additions. Today I’m breaking down my favorite shops and places to find everything in order to achieve the perfect gallery wall, as well as those smaller pieces around my living room!

Wall: Gallery walls should be a mix of a little bit of everything! Photos you’ve taken, maybe some personal sketches, music posters, and art you’ve collected. My new map is from IKEA, that’s also a chalkboard! (how fun) IKEA is where a lot of my frames are from too. I  only invest in frames when they’re really special pieces or going to be hung somewhere forever. Vintage markets and music festivals are great places to pick up prints and smaller pieces to hang. Foursided is one of my favorite Chicago shops for small cards and prints.

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Chair: Finding a good arm chair can take years, but when you find it, you’re set for life! I    scooped up this salmon colored leather chair from a local shop in my college neighborhood for $70. Furniture can be really expensive, so it felt like a steal to me. Throw your favorite patterned pillow on it to make it feel finished.

Table: The table is two suitcases, from the same shop as the chair. Stacking a couple of them helps with height, and to protect the top, add a piece of glass. (not shown) You can find glass for the table at your local Salvation Army or second hand shop. Using trunks or suitcases for a table also doubles as storage!

Accessories: Truly, the best way to make your home feel fully decorated is with the smaller pieces. You can easily go to one or two places and just buy what you deem cute, but it’s more fun to use pieces from your travels, keepsakes passed down and little trinkets from markets you’ve found along the way. The solider is from a local shop, the camera is from my favorite street market, and books are from various bookstores.

Although I  love the minimalism approach that many of my peers take with home design, for a packrat like me, more is definitely more. Home design should be a reflection of your personal style and I’ve settled into knowing what mine is! What’s yours?

-TW

 

 

You’ve been framed

You’ve been framed

Home decor has been such a love of mine for as long as I could remember. With IKEA practically being my second home since birth, I’ve always had a say in decorating ideas for each childhood bedroom and that’s only transferred as I’ve navigated designing my own apartments.

My first apartment was a simple white-box studio, so space and ideas were limited. I’ve entered year two of my first “adult” apartment and I seriously couldn’t be happier with it. A problem I often run into in both fashion and home design is my obsession with trends. Whether it’s a color, pattern, or “must-have” piece, I’m quick to try it for myself.

The difference between fashion and home design is that it’s not as cost friendly to change your house as it is to revamp your closet. As year two in this apartment approached, I wanted to change up a few things without breaking the bank. I decided to take my living room wall and really expand the “gallery wall” look that is so popular these days. Lots of friends and guests loved the outcome, asking how I achieved the look.

You’ll need: 

  • Tools: A small drill, hammer, nails, screws, and a level are basic but necessary.
  • Patience: Keep in mind one try at hanging a photo won’t cut it!
  • Pieces to hang: The best part is collecting all of the work to hang!

Step 1: Collect! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your gallery wall. The best gallery walls mix a little bit of everything; personal photos, artwork, knick-knacks and honestly whatever else you love and want to showcase.

Dig through your photos, dust off your keepsakes, and maybe even grab a new piece of two. For this wall, I had picked up a needlepoint souvenir from my recent trip to Austin. (Check out that post here!) and found some vintage Badminton rackets from a Chicago street market. (Just $15 for 2) Even though I have no relationship to badminton, and never will, I loved their preppy look and colors.

Step 2. Strip your canvas! Make sure your wall of choice is completely bare. For me, I needed to take everything down and forget the previous set up to give the wall a fair chance of a true “reboot.”

Step 3. Plan it out… or Don’t! Pintrest is a great resource for gallery walls! You can see how thousands of people have arranged their walls, some even giving you stencils or templates to follow. For this wall, I just started hanging and worked from right to left. I knew the rackets needs to be hung horizontally towards the top, and then went from there. The goal was to have an even flow of color, size and distance between them all.

Step 4: Enjoy! Now that it’s set all set up, stand back and enjoy your hard work! The best part about a gallery wall is that you can always add more to it later. I’ve left little pockets of space on the top and bottom of mine, just in case a new photo or piece of art is begging to be hung on the wall.

Like I said earlier in reference to Rome, an apartment is never finished in one day! I’m always finding a new project to tackle, which is half the fun!

Until the next home project,

TW